Board of Directors

President

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Natali Rodrigues is an Associate Professor (glass and drawing) at the Alberta College of Art and Design. She received her MA(VA) from the Australian National University in 2003, and BFA in 1999 from ACAD. She has an active practice investigating liminality, silence, and transformative experience. Her objects and drawings have been exhibited in North America, Europe, and Australia. Natali joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in March 2014 and became President in June 2017.

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Vice-President

 

julius_headshot.jpgJessica Jane Julius 

Jessica Jane Julius is an artist, educator, collaborator and performer who creates glass installations, objects and imagery that examine how fear is infiltrating the ways in which we navigate the world and presents a look at the anxieties and complexities of our current “culture of fear.”  

She is the co-founder of the artists’ collective and performance group, The Burnt Asphalt Family, who produces collaborative, participatory and edible works. Together they have performed at prestigious venues including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Chrysler Museum and Urban Glass. Her mixed media works have been exhibited at venues including the Philadelphia julius_jessica_jane_BlurringtheSubject_2011.jpgMuseum of Art, The Museum of American Glass, New Jersey and MarketView Arts, Pennsylvania. She has been awarded a York Cultural Alliance grant and residencies at The Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, New Jersey and The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. Currently, Julius serves as the Department Head of glass at Tyler School of Art and Architecture and has a private studio in Philadelphia. jessicajjulius.com

   

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Treasurer

Heather_Headshot.jpg Heather McElwee is the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Glass Center where she has worked since 2001, overseeing educational programming, exhibitions, fundraising and strategic direction for the organization. She has curated numerous shows in PGC’s Hodge Gallery including “Lifeforms”, “Pittsburgh Biennial” and “Turned On: Lighting Hooks Up with Sculpture”. 

Heather obtained her BFA from The Center for Creative Studies under the direction of Herb Babcock. She earned her Masters degree in Arts Management at the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. She has studied at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts and the Corning Museum of Glass as well as being a glass instructor at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Her own artwork is an investigation of the relationship of vHeather_McElwee_-_01.jpgessel to architecture, and has been shown in galleries across the country.

Heather has been interested in the artists’ role in creative placemaking since she moved to Pittsburgh in 2001. She has been a supporter of arts organizations across the city and has served as board president (2015 to 2017), of The Brew House Association whose mission is to provide artists with the support needed to foster invention, creation, & collaboration, & encourage the pursuit of artistic excellence.

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Secretary

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Kelly Conway was appointed curator of American glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in 2013. Her research focuses on the history of American glass from the late 18th century through the early 20th century. Conway is the curator of the newly reinstalled glass collection gallery, Corning, New York: The Crystal City, opening May 2018. She was the co-curator and co-editor of CMoG’s 2017 exhibition and accompanying publication, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics. Previously, she was the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2007 to 2013. There, she curated several special exhibitions and was a key member of the team that established a hot glass studio at the museum in 2011. Conway also led the design and re-installation of the new glass collection gallery at the Chrysler, and is a contributor to that museum’s 2017 publication, Glass: Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Conway earned a master’s degree in the history of decorative arts at the Smithsonian Institution and Parsons School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American history from DePauw University. She lectures extensively on the history of glass and is a member of the International Council of Museums as well as the Association of Art Museum Curators.


Conway joined the GAS Board of Directors in June 2015.

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Board Member

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Matt Durran has an international art practice based in London. He works predominantly within the medium of glass with the added elements of film and photography. Exhibiting internationally, Matt Durran's artwork is often revealed through large-scale installations, sculptures and photo-grams which capture the inner world of transparent objects. The installations are predominantly site-specific and constructed from many individually made components creating large-scale multi-faceted pieces. His sculptures are mainly represented forms of the familiar, placed in a context that visually explores and challenges habitual perceptions. The photo-grams show the structure of transparent objects. Many of these objects are created by Matt solely for the purpose of displaying their internal structure. By the manipulation, degradation and stressing of the glass, Matt conjures up new landscapes within the internal characteristic of the material, thus rendering the original glass object unstable and therefore, unable to be shown in a public setting. What's on display is a captured image of this internal landscape. Matt's film collaborations have resulted in several awards notably The Blessed Factory, set in Russia and winner of the Montpelier Film Festival Glass prize 2012. It represents the language of industry and the artist. For the last few years, alongside his art practice, Matt has been working with leading surgeons and researchers at the forefront of the world of tissue engineering. www.mattdurran.com

Matt joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in March 2014.

Nose Mouldings, 2012, slumped glass  

 

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Board Member

 

Glen Hardymon

Glen Hardymon (g glass) is a retired transactional attorney, long-time collector and now a flamework artist.   He is a former trustee and board chair at Penland School of Crafts. He maintains his studio in his home on Lake Norman in NC.  

 

 

 

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Board Member

MHernandez.jpgMichael Hernandez's work combines materiality and symbology to make commentary on nature and the human condition. Hernandez has been working in glass since 1996. His work employs glass in a range of approaches and media through sculpture, installation, and light-based works. He earned his BFA in Glass from Emporia State University (2003) and his MFA in Sculpture/Dimensional Studies from Alfred University (2010). Hernandez is currently Assistant Professor and Head of Glass at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA.  

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Board Member

Nadania Idress has a very wide breadth of experience that includes the historical study of glass in specific cultural context. She is making a considerable investment in acknowledging historical glass achievements alongside steps forward in contemporary glass. Berlin Glas e.V. is just one facet of her international involvement.

Worked at British Museum in London, the Institute du Monde Arab and as a professional consultant at UNESCO in Paris. Curator for "Glass! Handle with care! Fragile art 700-2010" at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin

MA in Islamic Art and Architecture from the University of Victoria, postgraduate at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

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Board Member

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Jeff Lindsay established Cutting Edge Products, bringing more than twenty years of experience in the industrial arts to his company. He began working with glass in 1977 at Orient & Flume Art Glass. Inspired, he started making tools for glass artists under the name Random Specialties. Random Specialties was, indeed, random. Besides making tools, Jeff had commissions for kinetic metal sculptures and produced a line of decorative wrought iron. Because bicycle riding was his passion, he built a few bicycle frames. Later he designed and built bikes for off-road riding. In 1980, Jeff was one of three frame builders to debut a mountain bike at the International Bicycle Dealer Trade Show. Mountain bikes were the hit of the show, and he had more orders for his "Mountain Goats" than he could fill. Jeff turned his efforts to bicycle manufacturing. Over the years, he won awards for innovative frame design and artistic paint finishes. His reputation with Mountain Goat owners all over the world was built on quality craftsmanship. In 1989, Jeff was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Eventually, Mountain Goat Cycles evolved into Altitude Cycle Technologies. As general manager, Jeff supervised the production of frames for Schwinn, Kona, K-2, and other well-known companies. While this was exciting, he missed the actual hands-on fabrication and design process. During the bicycle manufacturing years, Jeff had many requests for his glass tools. In 1998, he established Cutting Edge Products and has dedicated himself to the evolution and production of tools for the glass artist. It is Jeff's experience and our commitment to excellence that enable us to confidently say—our tools are the best. www.redhotmetal.net

Jeff joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in September 2013.

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Board Member

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Award-winning artist, designer, craftsmen and educator, Lynn Everett Read has focused on glass working for more than two decades. Lynn’s early pursuit in watercolor paved the way to an interest in glass because of its transparency of color, optical intrigue, malleability and material versatility. His creative spirit and passion for glass has intensified since his first apprenticeship in a glassblowing studio while achieving a BFA in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His diverse artistic background ranging from painting, sculpture, woodworking and theatrical set-building continues to play an important role in Lynn’s inventive approach to glass working. He has earned a highly regarded reputation for distinctly creative work that employs a wealth of techniques. With work in public and privet collections as well as numerous periodicals his work has remained fresh and inspired by the process of discovery working with glass.

Vitreluxe Glass Works was founded by Lynn in 1999 with the desire to build an advanced glass studio with some unique alterations to allow for versatility and efficiency. The name Vitreluxe was derived from two words: vitreous, the brilliant luster of glass and deluxe, the mid-century benchmark of quality. Since the studio’s first spark ignited, Vitreluxe has grown into a maker's mark of superior quality. Today the studio has implemented a system to melt glass with electricity that is generated from 100% renewable energy. Each piece is handmade in Portland, Oregon by Lynn and a dedicated team of artisans that take pride in the details and is signed with the Vitreluxe inscription. Lynn has reserved his namesake for one of a kind and limited edition pieces of functional and artistic works.

Lynn joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in June 2016.

Artwork Photo: Script #2, #3 2013

Left: 17" x 3" x 9", Right: 20" x 3" x 8" Hot worked, Flat worked, cold worked glass Permanent collection: Muskegon Museum of Art

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Board Member

Debra Ruzinsky HeadshotDebra Ruzinsky artwork

Debra Ruzinsky is a glass artist, educator, and director of the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN. Part of Tennessee Tech University, the Center teaches glass, metals, clay, wood, and fiber, embracing traditional skills and fresh perspectives in materials-based making.

Debra uses lost wax, mold-making, and casting processes to create sculptural glass works that explore opacity and translucence, delving into ideas about belief and identity. Her works have been exhibited and collected throughout the US and internationally.

Debra earned a BA in Design from UCLA and an MFA in Glass from RIT, and had a prior career as a designer and maker for film, commercials, and theme park environments.

 


Board Member

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Masahiro Nick Sasaki is a Japanese glass artist. He was born and lives in Nagoya. He studied glass art at Aichi University of Education and Toyama Institute of Glass Art. After working at Utatsuyama Crafts Workshop as studio coordinator for five years, he taught glass art at Osaka University of Arts and Nagoya University of Arts for five years. Currently, he is teaching at Aichi University of Education as associate professor and has headed the glass program there since 2008. Sasaki has won a number of honors, including the award of Grand Prix’ from the Exhibition of Contemporary Glass Koganezaki 2009, a merit award from the International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa 2010, and a merit award from the World Exhibition of Arts and Crafts Kanazawa ‘99. His work was featured in New Glass Review 30 and 31, and has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally.

Sasaki joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in March 2014.  

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Board Member

JanSmith-portrait.jpgJan Mirenda Smith has been in the museum profession in various capacities for the last 25 years. She holds an MA in Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Certificate in Museum Studies. She is currently Executive Director of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah, Wisconsin, was previously Director of Rahr-West Art Museum and formerly a curator at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum. She has written for a variety of publications, organized numerous exhibitions, both in glass and other art forms, and is a practicing painter. She has done much work in the area of visitor interpretation for general audiences and museum education, and continues research in areas of creative thinking skills to present the artist as entrepreneur and innovator. bergstrom-mahlermuseum.com

Jan joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in March 2014.

 

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Board Member

Demetra Theofanous has been internationally recognized for her woven glass nest and flora sculptures and is included in numerous private collections, as well as in the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum. Notable awards include a GLANC Scholarship, a Juror’s Choice Award from renowned collector Dorothy Saxe, a Glasscraft Emerging Artist Award, a NICHE Award, a Juror's Choice Award at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Grant. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Triennial of the Silicate Arts in Hungary, San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, National Liberty Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, and in the Crocker Art Museum’s prestigious Crocker-Kingsley Biennial. In 2017 she was an Artist in Residence at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, where she also had an exhibition of the work created during her residency period.

Demetra operates a private studio in San Francisco, CA where she continues to develop her signature work. She is also an educator, teaching extensively at top educational institutions such as Pratt Fine Arts Center, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Bay Area Glass Institute. Demetra was a 2015 demonstrating artist at the Glass Art Society Conference, where she also served as a Conference Co-Chair, and is President of the Board, for the Glass Alliance of Northern California. All of Demetra’s pieces are one of a kind, produced solely by the artist, and created in limited number.

Co-Chair 2015 San Jose GAS Conference; educator at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Bay Area Glass Institute.

 

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Board Member

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David Willis: An independent artist, Willis received a BA in 1992 from U.C. Berkeley in social change, with a minor in conservation and resources studies, and began flameworking glass in 1994. He has been an instructor at locations including Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, and Penland School of Crafts, a Visiting Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington and a featured artist at the Niijima International Glass Art Festival and the International Flameworking Conference. Willis is included in books and collections nationally and internationally and has been featured in publications including New Glass Review, ARTnews, and American Craft. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his dogs, and his work is represented by Austin Art Projects. Willis serves on the Artistic Program Advisory Committee for Pilchuck. He feels very fortunate to have had many generous people contribute to his understanding and for the support that enables him to make his work.

Willis joined the Glass Art Society Board of Directors in September 2013. Return to Board & Staff

 


Student Representative

Caitlin Vitalo

Caitlin Vitalo (b. 1988, New Haven, Connecticut) is a contemporary artist and writer whose work addresses systems of power and privilege. Growing up in central Massachusetts, Vitalo began her artistic career working with glass at the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2004. She graduated with a BFA in sculptural studies from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2010 and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 2018. She currently lives and works outside New York City.



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